Day 8 - Bovec to Duga Resa

A 4 minute read, Posted by Dan on Sat, Aug 3, 2013
In Croatia, Defender, Land Rover, Maps, Overland, Summer 2013, Travel
Tags breakdown, croatia, mafia, wine

We decided that today we needed to get cracking and head south. I would have loved to have stayed longer in Bovec, but the campsite was fully booked over the weekend, so we had to either find another site, or move on.

Yesterday, we spent sometime trying to work out where to head, without driving too far, whilst fitting in with our rough plan. We eventually decided to head for the wine road south-west of Zagreb in northern Croatia. This is a road that runs between Samobor and Jastrebarsko and is famed for its wine. We found the area and the road specifically, with no problems. The route was beautiful and the drive was ideal in the Landy.

Not sure if I have mentioned previously, but the Garmin Montana GPS is dead (my second one). It does not boot beyond the maps loading at start up, so we are navigating by one of the 1:200k maps we have. Not a problem. Luckily I love maps so have more than enough to compensate. Anyhow, we stopped to get our bearings for a minute, I killed the Landy while Wendy sorted herself out so I could have pee. Jumped back in and the engine did not turn over.

At first I thought I had failed to activate the immobiliser correctly, so did it again. Same outcome. By the third time I could not hear the starter motor solenoid pull in. Ok, I would need a multimeter. Once I grabbed that, I popped off the fuse cover the starter relay was pulling in there was 12 volts on the contact to the solenoid. Which leaves a couple of items as likely causes. Either wiring or connection or starter motor. Engine was too hot and the afternoon was too hot to get close to check either. Not wanting to hang around and given that no one had passed us in 15 minutes, I decided to bump start the Landy.

We were facing up hill and against the bushes… Luckily I managed to do it in about 2 meters in reverse. We carried on along the route for a while. About 20 minutes on and Cassie needed to wee now, so I stopped nose up a bank. Flicked the ignition and the starter flicked over, good sign… Killed the engine and it restarted, excellent. I suspect connections. I had a similar issue with a connection which was installed by a previous garage removing the stock alarm system. Which I fixed. This had prevented the fuel cut out solenoid activating about 18 months ago. I suspect the same issue here I hope. I'll replace the crimp when we stop for a couple of days somewhere and I am bored. At the moment the problem has not reoccurred.

Anyway, by this stage we were looking for one of the recommended Vineyards in the Bradt guide, which also had rooms. We found it. But no one was to be found. We waited for a few minutes before deciding to find the second recommendation. This was about another 30 minutes on. We had a different outcome with this, we found signs to the place and followed them diligently up gravel tracks, but the place was nowhere to be seen. We re-read the guide description. We asked locals who pointed up in the right direction. We found a place but it appeared to be another vineyard, by this time we had done the gravel track three or four times. Wendy and Cassie went to investigate, they followed the loud music, I saw a person from outside, they knocked, entered and found no one. Returning minutes later like the place was empty but having a ghost rave. We gave up and moved on.

Well what do we do now? On the map a campsite was shown slightly south of Karlovac. They make the famous beer Karlovačko. We eventually found a cool campsite south of Karlovac in Duga Resa. They were busy, but had an excellent river to swim in and a reasonable restaurant, which suited us, given, we were by this time absolutely knackered.

Ironically we were surrounded by a very big group of Irish travellers headed for Bosnia, they had large caravans. Fairly modern. Towed by Transit vans. The group as a whole were making a lot of noise. The kids were climbing all over the bathrooms. We were worried we would be associated with them, so stayed well clear despite out close proximity. They looked dodgy, why would you travel in such a large group. I am guessing 30 in total?

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